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Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Australia vs India, 4th Test, Day 2: India fight after Australia score 572

Steve Smith completed his fourth century in as many matches on Wednesday as Australia compiled a daunting first innings total in the final Test against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground.


The Australian captain added to his incredible run of form against the tourists with a composed 117 as Australia, already holding an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series, declared on 572 for seven shortly after tea on day two.
In response to the huge total, India got off to a horrible start, losing in-form opener Murali Vijay for a duck on the third ball to left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc.
But Lokesh Rahul (31 not out) and Rohit Sharma (40 not out), brought back after being dropped for the third Test in Melbourne, ensured there was no further damage and took India to 71-1 at stumps.
After Australia had resumed on 348-2, Shane Watson fell for 81 in the morning session with Shaun Marsh (73) the only batsman to get out in the afternoon. A half-century from Joe Burns (58) meant the home side’s top six batsmen made at least a fifty.
Burns and Ryan Harris fell at the start of the third session to give India paceman Mohammed Shami his second five-wicket haul in Tests.
Watson and Smith added 196 for the third wicket after openers David Warner (101) and Chris Rogers (95) put on 200 on Tuesday as Australia’s top order cashed in on a flat pitch.
Smith continued his extraordinary run of form, following up his 162 not out in the first Test in Adelaide, 133 in the second Test in Brisbane and 192 in the third test in Melbourne with another hundred.
Resuming on 82, he reached his eighth Test ton when he smashed a full toss from fast bowler Umesh Yadav for a boundary.
Yadav gained a small measure of revenge when he dismissed Smith just before the break, finding the edge off an attempted drive and giving wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha a simple catch.
Watson, batting cautiously after a lean run, looked set to register just his fifth Test hundred since making his Test debut a decade ago, only to throw his wicket away with a rash shot.
He was caught by Ravichandran Ashwin at deep midwicket off the bowling of Shami, marking the 24th time he had made a Test half-century but failed to go on and reach triple figures.
Marsh, run out for 99 in Melbourne, also missed out when he was caught behind off Shami, while Burns, playing in his second Test, registered his first 50 with a composed display.
Harris smashed Bhuvneshwar Kumar for 19 runs in an over and brought the crowd to their feet with his knock of 25 from nine deliveries. (Reuters)

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